Near Athens – the island of Aegina

Whether the island is actually spelt Aegina or not I couldn’t tell – it was spelt differently on every timetable and in every guidebook. But if fits for me.

We started off at Piraeus, the port that’s virtually a suburb of Athens now, and went to “Gate 8” as directed and bought a ticket. We followed signs for the passenger terminal, thinking that it would be an ideal place to wait for the fast boat. How wrong we were. “Gate 8” was in fact a stretch of dock probably totalling about half a mile in length, if not more, from which about 15 boats departed. It was as much use as saying “your boat leaves from Spain” in terms of directions, and so we missed it by about 5 minutes while we were trying to find the right one. Still, it actually worked out for the better, as instead we caught a regular slow ferry (which is only just over an hour anyway) and got a much better view.

It was also a nice day, so there are some nice photos too:

Nothing seems amiss in this photo, does it? Apart from a boat name that consists mainly of symbols. No reason to be alarmed at all:

But this is the front. Thankfully, our Poseidon adventure didn’t end up with our boat being upside down. Nor was there a Gene Hackman nor (and this would have been really bad) an Ernest Borgnine onboard:

The ship’s mast, and a blue sky:

One of the main old boats we saw on our way out. Piraeus was a very busy port:

Maybe the other passengers were more freaked by getting on the Poseidon as the top deck was empty. Surprisingly, it was also the warmest deck on the boat (bar sitting inside, of course, which was thick with cigarette smoke, as the whole of Greece tends to be):

Looking back towards the mainland:

Leaving Piraeus behind in our wake:

Ann on the empty deck:

Blue sea and into the mountains which were all around with the craggy coastline:

A smaller island we passed on the way:

A view of Aegina island:

The port of Aegina town was rather small, and our large ferry very much stood out:

A strange fortified building in the town, possibly from the late 18th century, although some thought older:

We had an excellent lunch at one of the seafood restaurants next to the fish market. They attracted their fair share of rather well-fed stray cats, such as the one below:

A small stretch of beach on the island:

On the way back we saw God in the distance peeking out from behind a cloud:

As usual with that kind of excursion the journey was half the fun, but the island was quite a pleasant place to be, and provided excellent food (at a cheaper price) than Athens.

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